With Christmas done and dusted for another year, 2018 well under way and many of us returning to work for the second week, there’s no better time to get clued up on the major tax and finance changes for 2018.
Most of these changes won’t come into force until the start of the next financial year – 6 April 2018. However, being aware of what’s around the corner may save you tax in the coming months. Some measures are waiting to receive Royal Assent, so here’s what we know so far.
The personal allowance will increase to £11,850 around the UK, while the higher rate threshold will rise to £46,350 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For taxpayers in Scotland, there will be 5 income tax bands and rates for the first time. The higher rate threshold in Scotland will rise to £44,274 – and 2 new income tax bands will also be in play. Assuming individuals are in receipt of the personal allowance, these are:
- Starter rate: £11,851 to £13,850
- Intermediary rate: £24,001 to £44,273
Since 22 November 2017, first-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland have been able to get on the property ladder without paying stamp duty on properties worth up to £300,000.
In response to that measure announced in Autumn Budget 2017, Wales announced it will raise its land transaction tax rate from £150,000 to £180,000 for all home buyers – but not until 1 April 2018. From 6 April 2018, first-time buyers in Scotland will be able to buy a property worth up to £175,000 without being liable for land and buildings transaction tax.
The corporation tax rate around the UK will remain at 19% from 1 April 2018.
Enterprise investment scheme
From 6 April 2018, it will be possible to invest up to £2 million in knowledge-intensive companies under the enterprise investment scheme.
A knowledge-intensive company is classed as a smaller, innovative business carrying out Research and Development and other activities to develop intellectual property for its own purposes.
The current VAT thresholds remain unchanged until 31 March 2020.
Therefore, a business must be VAT-registered when their taxable turnover in the last 12 months exceeds £85,000 or is expected to exceed £85,000 in the next 30 days.
An individual can apply to de-register for VAT if taxable turnover drops below £83,000 in the last 12 months.
If your company makes a capital gain on or after 1 January 2018, the indexation allowance that determines the chargeable gain will be calculated up to December 2017.
For 2018/19, the capital gains tax allowance will rise to £11,700.
The inheritance tax (IHT) threshold (£325,000) and various rates remain unchanged for 2018/19. However, the residence nil-rate band increases to £125,000 from 6 April 2018. This can be added to the basic IHT threshold (giving a combined total of £450,000) if the person and their estate meet the qualifying conditions – and can be doubled for married couples.
The annual ISA limit stays at £20,000 for the next financial year, although the junior ISA threshold will increase to £4,260 from 6 April 2018.